Quick Update + Pain

Just got back from vacation in the woods in northern Minnesota. Needless to say, the internet connection up there is a little less than desirable which is why I missed this weeks production update. I also had a pinched nerve last week, presumably from working in the garden, so I missed some work time with that. Never experienced a pinched nerve before. I woke up one morning at 4AM and thought I was paralyzed, pretty scary stuff for that early in the morning.

Anyways, be sure to check back on Monday for another production update!

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Monty Oum, an inspiration I never met

I found out today that Monty Oum of Roosterteeth passed away. I didn’t know Monty personally and have never met him in real life or even online, but I didn’t need to in order to understand his impact on the anime and gaming community. His work on RWBY at RoosterTeeth in particular, has pushed the envelope a little further for me and many others in our fields. What once seemed impossible or a dream came true with the series he worked on.

Last year, RWBY became the first American anime series to be imported in Japan, something we could have only dreamed of a few years ago.  The show has potentially trail-blazed a path for the future, for more anime series to get not only created in the US but to also make their way to Japan and beyond.

On RosterTeeth’s website, they suggest we honor Monty by doing something creative. Which is why I will animate tonight with him in mind, knowing that if I ever am fortunate enough to have Cosmic Rage someday turn into something larger, that he probably helped pave the way with his work at RoosterTeeth. My dream has always been to have Cosmic Rage develop into a series, to see people cosplay as my characters and have their own action figures, all dreams I have had could potentially be easier to achieve after Monty and RoosterTeeth proving people wrong.

You will be missed Monty, and thank you for all of your contributions and hard work, I regret that I never had the chance to met you, but maybe someday.

If you want to donate to his family, you can check out his gofundme page here.

Why We Make Art

This post is going to be something that may seem a bit out of place, hopefully by the end of it my true feelings will emerge and you may gain an understanding of an artist. If you look at the about page on this site, you will see a description of the project I am working on Cosmic Rage. In that description I talk about how Cosmic Rage is going to be a story that involves religion, politics and societal issues but all wrapped up into an action story. However, you wouldn’t know that without reading that. I don’t think I have ever touched any of those topics in a blog post, to be honest I didn’t want to alienate a single fan or person that took time out of their day to read my thoughts and look at my art. It is with that fear that a discussion couldn’t happen.

The sole purpose I work on this project is to help foster an environment to have these discussions, it’s time I write and share these thoughts here too. Society and the world is a strange place filled with so many beautiful things and on the flip-side, so many ugly things. I often find myself searching for answers or trying to figure out our rationale for a variety of things.

For instance, the attack at Charlie Hebdo that left many people dead. I have never looked at an issue of Charlie Hebdo or saw any art, before the attack, they never existed in my world. Yet these people went to work everyday with the intent of making work to get conversations started about issues they felt were important. They weren’t afraid of losing fans or even threats on them as they created.

Artists create art to make sense of the world around them. Sometimes they make satirical pieces, sometimes they make shock pieces and numerous interpretations in between. However you make art, for whatever purpose we must continue to make our voices heard. We must continue to tell our stories and share our thoughts. It is with these weapons that we can fight ignorance, hatred and the other evils of this world.

Continue telling your stories, and I will continue to tell mine.

Looking Ahead 2015 and Learning

Earlier this week I mentioned that I have begun applying for panels at some cons in 2015 and that artist alleys may be in the works as well. However, I wanted to talk today about some goals and things I aim to get better at in 2015. One of my long-term goals is to get more into web development and coding. The reason for this is that some day I would like to do animations for web some day. With that in mind, I have enrolled in a 6 week online animation course to brush up on some of the fundamentals and really use it to push myself in those areas. I have been in the course for a week and a half so far. I can tell it is going to be a very well use of my time. These will all be good skills to have as I try to grow Cosmic Rage more in 2015. The other side of the same coin, I am looking to push myself in the 3D world as well in 2015. In this case too, I have been reviewing some course materials and am about half done with them. This too will carry into Cosmic Rage and also help feed my skills as I continue to work in the programs. Overall, a lot of continuing education in animation and some related areas. Animation really is a lifestyle 🙂

So what do I want to learn more about outside of animation and development? Well, I am aiming to get a second community garden and will plant some new vegetables. This year I am thinking of trying eggplant and maybe kale. I have so much more to learn in gardening.

Production Update coming Monday again!

Outside of Cosmic Rage

Hey everyone! It has been a while since I have blogged, but I have been super busy at work and also did some traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday. I wanted to sneak a production update in when I got back home on Monday, but it was late and I needed to catch up on some sleep 🙂

I thought I would take today to write about some of the work I have been doing outside of Cosmic Rage and how some of my learning in other areas is progressing. First off, I have ben continuing to dabble in html and css. It has been going pretty well. I am currently working on a test project and I am very fortunate to have a co-worker take time to explain things and go over my code. It has been a fun process so far and looking forward to learning more in 2015.

Another area I am looking to improve on is my 3D work. You can never know enough, and I am looking at expanding into more areas and increasing my efficiency in other areas. Currently I am going through a series of tutorials and seeing how other people work. I learn so much from watching others animate. Excited to wrap up the series, as I am currently one third of the way through them now.

Outside of the previously mentioned projects, I enrolled in a 6 week course for After Effects. While I consider myself very strong in After Effects, I have recently been revisiting some fundamentals and that is the focus of this course. Once you think you know everything, you don’t leave yourself open to to learning from others. As I stated above, I enjoy watching people work and seeing ways that others use the programs I use. I will be starting the course next week.

I have been trying to break things into 3 or 4 month chunks and doing sprints of learning new things. These will be my main areas of focus over the winter months since it will be too cold to garden 😦 I will be setting up y current render tonight as well. I will be back Monday with a new production update and also some new art, you deserve it!

Quick Note

Hey everyone, I apologize for the lack of updates the last couple weeks. I have been very busy at work, getting ready for the holidays and also being down my laptop for a couple days, nothing to worry about, a friend needed to borrow it. Been getting a lot done and will have an update sometime after Thanksgiving travel. I will be sure to get some new production art up as well for everyone to check out. Have a great holiday and I’ll be back in a week!

Recap of Start Up Weekend

If you recall, I didn’t get much work done this past weekend because I was participating in my first Start-Up Weekend Sioux Falls. Here’s how it works.

On Friday evening all of the attendees have the opportunity to pitch ideas in one minute of something they would like to build over the weekend. After all of the pitches are made, everyone in attendance gets the chance to vote on ideas they would like to work on. At this point some of the ideas are cut. After that, everyone has the opportunity to actually join a team and some of the ideas that passed the initial cut have to condense down to fill out teams. Before we ended the night on Friday, we set a direction of our project and what we aim to get done each day.

Saturday we put in a long day and started work on our project. I worked on design and animating and other members of the team worked on development and on the business side of things. At moments in the day, all of the teams met back together and would briefly go over the progress they made, problems and what we planned on getting accomplished after the break. At the end of Saturday we were sitting pretty well off with assets and direction.

Sunday I got an early start and worked on some more visuals. We practiced rehearsing our presentation and we put together final assets that we would need for our pitch. The afternoon was spent polishing the presentation and being there in case the presenters needed anything.

In the early evening, each team gave their presentations and the judges voted who the winner was. While the team I was on didn’t win, it was a very exciting experience. I felt we created a strong product in the time we had and hope we can maybe explore it a bit more.  Maybe at a later day I can share more about the project.

It was a great experience to challenge myself and to meet new people as well. Of course the challenge of creative thinking and building something in that short of a period of time is something that I will always enjoy. I would encourage all of you to try one at least once!